There comes a time in every business’ life when it must decide whether it wants to go lone wolf on it’s website needs (DIY) or let tech savvy folks do it for you (DIFM). Before you jump in head first, however, you should set aside a moment to work out the decision that’s truly in the best interests of your business. Depending on all the various aspects that make up your business – your technical expertise, budget, size of business, the industry you work in; all these things will affect your choice between a Do-It-Yourself or Do-It-For-Me website provider.
So, which is the right avenue for your business to go down?
Luckily, if you’re in the market to tackle your website solo, then you will be glad to hear that there is no shortage of free or freemium cloud services online for staunch DIYers to build and manage their own site. But, is it right for you?
If you’re a small business with a tight budget, then you’d be mistaken for thinking this one is a bit of a no brainer. Naturally, the DIY approach offers the lowest upfront expenditure and leaves the choice of how much you’re willing to spend and when entirely up to you.
Requiring essentially 0 skill in the tech department, you get a choice of various pre-made styles and designs that affect the functionality and look of your website. Perfect for those less digitally savvy that still want a professional website that looks the part for peanuts.
Despite the advantages you get from going at it alone, there are limitations further down the line. For instance, the ease of service relates to a substantial loss in flexibility – due to them being non-paid services, restrictions to scale and customisation confine your website’s potential. This could have an effect on your business’ image and disrupt your effectiveness online down the road.
Not to mention, with DIY platforms you are often prone to vendor lock-in scenarios. Like the notorious freemium application, you can get only so far without spending a penny. Sooner or later you will no doubt be prompted for a charge to move past your site’s current limitations.
DIFM, on the other hand, is for those with less confidence in their capability building and managing a website. The choice is endless too – from individual freelancers to full-scale agencies, there’s no shortage of talented folks out there eager to give you a turnkey website that’ll have you stand out from the competition.
If you’re a small business then there’s a high chance you are without the spare time, inclination or expertise to handle your own web presence full-time. This is where Do-It-For-Me reigns supreme. Giving you a fully functioning website that performs straight off the bat, your website will be unique to your company, decked out with responsive design, content and mobile device optimisation, ready to show customers that you mean business.
However, some would say the real value lies in their capability over integrated marketing and transaction capture capabilities, such as social media marketing, SEO, video and e-commerce that some include in their package, but whether you need this or not, the point is that the best agencies will work hand-in-hand with you to determine what initiatives are appropriate for your objectives, schedule, technical competence and budgetary constraints.
As mentioned earlier, budget will likely be a deciding factor in your decision and compared to DIY services DIFM is obviously a more costly approach. Although prices will vary hugely between providers – highly bespoke sites that require more man hours to build and manage will be more expensive than others aimed at small businesses..
Also, be aware of the quality of website that you’re going to get beforehand. Considering the multitudes available to take on the job, you want to know that you’re going to get a site worthy of representing your business online.
Building and maintaining a website is a multidisciplinary endeavour and can’t be addressed by half measures. For small businesses with a restricted budget, DIY is no doubt the tempting option, but consider first your reasons for needing a website in the first place. Are you capable of designing, developing, managing, optimising and marketing your website? If your answer is no, then It’s safe to say that letting the experts take over is probably the right choice for you. A small investment here will pay off down the line.
By Oliver Roche
You can call 0203 411 0812 or visit http://www.soletrader.com to get started today.
For regular updates just follow us on Twitter @SoleTraderWeb and Facebook @soletraderwebsites